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Review of the film “Brave Citizen”

October 2023 marks the first theatrical release of “Brave Citizen,” the newest Korean film. It has an action and drama genre and a story from a webtoon adaptation by Kim Jung Hyun entitled Yonggamhan Simin. This film is directed by Park Jin Pyo and tells the story of a woman. Ordinary people who become apprentice teachers dare to fight against their students who bully at school because they have the power to behave as they please without caring about the rules or fear of punishment.

A female teacher is the main actor in this film, played by Shin Hye Sun as Sho Shi Min, who had a background as a boxer at a young age, but when Sho Shi Min became a replacement for the previous apprentice teacher who committed suicide in SMA 98764, which has the achievement of being the best school in protecting against violence, it turned out to be just a title for the school’s reputation because there have been injustices and rules that do not apply regarding protecting against violence or bullying at that school all this time. The injustice that always occurs at SNFEF school is always carried out by Han Soo Gang and his gangsters by bullying many students just for their fun.

Sho Shi Min dared to fight Han Soo Gang to just teach a lesson from what Han Soo Gang had done so far, especially Han Soo Gang’s actions against Jin Hyeong, which made Sho Shi Min even more determined to fight Han Soo Gang. However, Sho Shi Min was warned by other teachers to try to close his eyes and ears to whatever Han Soo Gang did for his safety and avoid dealing with Han Soo Gang and his family, who have the power to do anything without being fair.

Sho Shi Min experienced a very serious dilemma in this condition: thinking about his own safety in being able to get a position as a permanent teacher, which had always been his ambition, or fighting Han Soo Gang because Jin Hyeong asked him for help. Sho Shi Min finally approached Han Soo Gang to reprimand him, but what happened? After that, there was a commotion among the school committee and the teachers because Han Soo Gang’s mother, who was a lawyer, came to school to look for the perpetrator, which made Han Soo Gang feel uncomfortable. In the end, Sho Shi Min admitted that he was the perpetrator and bowed to his mother. Han Soo Gang apologizes and is given another chance not to be fired from his job as an apprentice teacher.

One night, Han Soo Gang got into a fight with a group of people who were seen by Sho Shi Min and made him attack Han Soo Gang by disguising himself with a cat mask and dressing like a man. The fight that left Han Soo Gang battered because he lost to Sho Shi Min’s attack in disguise was known by a student at their school, and the next morning all the students at school learned about Han Soo Gang’s defeat in his fight for the first time. Sho Shi Min was very satisfied to hear it and acted as if he didn’t know what happened when the teachers were also happy, like all the students, when they found out that Han Soo Gang lost the fight. The next day, Jin Hyeong is bullied again by Han Soo Gang at the billiard place, and Sho Shi Min appears again wearing a cat mask to save Jin Hyeong, but at that time Jin Hyeong wants to stab Han Soo Gang with a knife, and Sho Shi Min’s arm hit Jin. Hyeong fails to kill Han Soo Gang.

Han Soo Gang’s curiosity began about who was behind the mask because it had protected him from knife stabs, which he thought was unnatural. After all, the person wearing the cat mask also always attacked Han Soo Gang. The next day, Han Soo Gang found out that the person behind the cat mask was teacher Sho Shi Min, who was then challenged to a fight in the ring during a school performance. In the end, Sho Shi Min won and made Han Soo Gang lose, even bending the knee to Jin Hyeong in front of everyone. Then, finally, Han Soo Gang was arrested by the police because of the bullying he had been doing all this time, with video evidence submitted by his friend.

From the title of this film, it is clear that there is resistance, which will be highlighted in this film, explaining a power that can make humans behave unfairly towards each other, especially towards lower middle-class civil society, who have no power when there is social inequality. The title of this film also makes it very clear that the courage of ordinary people can also change a situation that cannot be justified.

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